The UK left the EU on Friday 31 January 2020 on the terms set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The Withdrawal Agreement provided for a transition period up to 31 December 2020.
On 24 December, the EU and UK negotiating teams reached agreement in principle on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which came into effect from the end of the transition period. Since 1 January 2021, the UK has been outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union. Customs formalities and other regulatory requirements now apply to food imported into the EU from the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) and to food exported from the EU, including Ireland, to the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).
No new procedures apply to food moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland because of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland.
With the exception of the specific arrangements for Northern Ireland, since 1 January 2021 Irish businesses that buy any food product from the UK and place it on the Irish market will need to adhere to the rules and requirements for importing food from outside the EU Single Market and for placing these products on the EU Single Market. Irish businesses that wish to sell any food product in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) will need to adhere to the rules and requirements for exporting outside the Single Market, as well as to UK import requirements.
You need to know what this means for your business:
Check out our free eLearning module on the requirements for importing food from or through the UK (excluding Northern Ireland)
Last reviewed: 8/4/2021